Henry the English Bull mastiff, the biggest and mildest fourlegs around, is facing an awkward problem at Swallow’s Veterinarians for Livestock & Pets. Thinking he’s going in for his annual rabies jab, he wakes up after the Op to discover it’s for a much more personal problem. Something to send him right off his chain, and wreak vengeance on all doggies within mauling distance. It may have something to do with a new nick name spreading on a sniffy wind amongst all the Swallow’s fours: Big Knickers.
As fate would have it, the same day Henry is due to have his chop at Swallow’s Livestock & Pets Veterinarian up on Aspen Drive, the surgery is packed to bursting with a load of other fourlegs. FrankieFullermate leads Henry into the surgery and before he can get one step towards the reception all chaos breaks out.
SUBMIT! roars Henry SUBMIT!
I sniff you Henry tweets Kibbles, a West Highland Terrier and I submit
Me, too, I suppose adds Champion, an ancient Golden Retriever.
SUBMIT ALL OF YOU
I don’t do submitting, animal answers Shadow, the magnificent black and tan German Shepherd, sitting calmly on his haunches, all packed muscle and muzzled ferocity.
We’ll see about that – and before Henry can launch himself at the Thames Valley K9 he is pulled up fast by Franks.
Be a good doggy Shadow growls from behind his muzzle.
“Hello,gotHenryinforhis…youknow,his…” and Henry is bemused at Franks waving his paw about in a slicing motion.
“nonsensenonsense,nonsense” the receptionist barks back. Henry is suddenly attentive as chops are the main topic of conversation between the two hindlegs. He hopes it’s beef. The thoughts of good nosh goes a long way to calming him down. He placidly follows Franks to a chair close to where Kibbles sits with his companion hindlegs Patelmate.
Hello down there Henry says to Kibbles, towering over the small fourlegs even when he’s just sitting on his haunches.
Acch, how ‘s it doing yer wee laddie? Kibbles answers.
You here for the chop, also?
Cannay say, just a wee rabies jab, I think
Me too answers Champion, lying on the floor and unable to raise his head much. He sniffs sort of purply and all the fourlegs are giving him a wide berth. But remembering the wonderful day he has had beforenows it gives him enough strength to spill the beans. But to get ready for it I got favorite brekkers today with real sausages…and get to squirt and poop in Herdwicks pooping park…and all my hindlegs family hugging me with drink in their eyes. And getting a long drive with my earflaps out the window of the growling roundlegs, all flapping like. I really love that…
All the fourlegs stare at him.
Erh, what you in for, again, laddie? asks Kibbles, not unkindly.
The ‘jab’ just like you? The euthanasia jab
The surgery door opens to a room full of gleaming tables and sharp objects and the sniff of something that twitches the snouts of all the fours, causing earflaps to flap.
“Champion?” the hindlegs vet barks softly to Champion, who then crouches down to stroke the old fourlegs’ long snout and ruffle his earflaps. She looks up at his family of hindlegs “shallwe?”
The hindlegs family all start dropping drink from their eyes again as Champion slowly climbs to his feet and drags himself to follow behind the hindlegs vet into her sharp, gleaming and very sniffy room. He turns his head at Kibbles, Henry and Shadow.
Not sure what their problem is, it’s just a jab innit? Laters
The fours twitch their earflaps and the door shuts behind him.
Silence. Broken by the arrival of a small red and white scratch carried in its cage by a female hindlegs pup. Seeing all the fours she clutches the cage tightly as her packmom steps between her and the fours.
“anyofthemdangerous?” the packmom barks out.
FrankieFullermate and Patelmate shake their heads. PC Smith, the packleader of Shadow, mews consolingly “don’tworrylove, bringyourcatinandsitdownoverthere,they’reallharmless”
Sure grunts Kibbles, allow me to demonstrate the wee art of all sorts of harmless
Like the sound of that approves Henry.
Acch anyways, scratch’s only the wee size of your chop, Henry
A lamb chop maybe, Kibbles, not sure if it’s the size of a pork-
Stop being muttwits the pair of yous Shadow’s muzzled growl.
The scratch hisses at all of them, retreating to the back of its cage.
Henry swings his head from the scratch to stare Shadow straight in the eye, you saying something over there, behind yer happy gag? as the thought of some extreme submitting action is rising up through a deep chested rumble, spreading throughout his slab-packed body. Both Henry and Shadow start to rise.
“easyboy” Franks tweaks his lead.
“toheal,Shadow,toheal” barks PC Smith packleader.
The diminutive Westie stares between the two of them, panting fast. The sniff of violence very red in the air.
So…so what are you in for Shadow?
Shadow tears himself away from Henry, sits back down and considers the little fourlegs before replying.
That’s police business
So, it’s distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, leptospirosis and parainfluenza then, laddie?
Maybe Shadow snorts noncommittedly and certainly not ‘his’ chop….lamb chop or whatnot, ha ha ha
Any kinda chop, lamb or whatnot, is mine states Henry, still undecided if some good old-fashioned submitting of that furry muttwit is even possible with Franks standing on his choke chain.
The surgery door to Aspen Drive opens again and in trots Mayumi followed by her green herbal sniffy companions, DasiyZhang and JumaSabah.
Ayaa, hello dog-gees she barks.
I sniff you Mayumi Henry forgets submitting and starts thinking sporting as his favorite girl steps within sniffing range.
Sniff you, too big Hen-ree she pants sweetly before deigning to turn her snouts towards the other two hi Kibbles, hi fierce K9 dog-gee whose name I don’t know
That’s police business Shadow stares woodenly, still staring at Henry over his muzzle.
“don’tlethernearthoseanimals” DaisyZhang whispers to JumaSabah “remember,she’sdelicate”
Mayumi leads the way to the seats, fast filling up with fourlegs’ companions.
You boys in for toe-nail clipping too? Jumapackmate says it’s bad karma to keep hearing scritchy scratching of nails on the parquet flooring
Ayaa, Pork. If only…
Door opens to the sharp, gleaming and very sniffy room and out traipses Champion’ hindlegs, without Champion. Drinkwet is making their faces gleam and they sniff brown misery, the lot of ‘em. They file out, the catch bell above the door ringing the end of Champion’s final round.
Acch, we’ll naier see his likes again
“rightthen?” the hindlegs vet sniffs sugary colours to the fourlegs. “Henryisit?”
“c’monfella” Franks heaves Henry to his feet, ‘cept Henry don’t need heaving. He’s already up, wagging his stumpy tail and slobbering like a good’n.
Chops he exclaims to no one, dragging Franks through the door into the sharp, gleaming and very sniffy room.
Bon appétit chuckles Shadow.
The secret about KFC is… Gitorrf! is explaining through a mouthful of spicy chicken strips it’s all in the chicken!
Howd’ya mean? Tuffy shakes his head to extract himself from a KFC plastic bag, half a cardboard box in his mouth, chips flying everywhere.
These chickens, see, are not like your chickens from Mackers or Greggs, or even the chickens down at the Taj Mahal bins, or anywhere else you can name, no chick –
Chicken is chicken, mate, plain and simple
GitOrrf! finishes the strip and goes rooting round for another under the wheel of the bin, using his toes to push away the whitedrink so he can properly sniff out what’s up for noshing.
Nah mate, what makes KFC chicken really KFC’s chicken is… and he don’t find another strip but the soggy remains of a chicken breast their bins are easier to get into!
Tuffy thinks this is nonsense of course. He spits out the chips and goes in search of something he can get his teeth into.
A scratch sits atop one of the bins malevolently watching proceedings.
Do you know what a chicken is, GitOrrf!?
And they happily continue noshing their way through KFC’s overspill ‘round back, at the bins.
The scratch keeps its unblinking eyes upon them.
Dissatisfied with his dinner, Tuffy turns on the scratch Got a problem whiskers?
The scratch just watches.
Get down ‘ere and I’ll show yous all about problems
Don’t bother mate, scratch are daft buggas, they can’t even speak
One of these days there’s gonna be a dog damn reckoning between us fours and them scratch, telling yers GitOrrf!
But GitOrrf! ain’t really listening. Thinking back about Mackers chicken – and mainly about Mackers burgers topped with all that tasty cheese, and crispy fries, and upsize specials and – no, losing track, shaking his earflaps, and returning to thinking about Mackers, leads Gitorrf! towards thinking about Henry. That’s cos Henry likes Mackers more than KFC. And, since Henry goes off for his chop, beforenows, he ain’t seen Henry around for a few days.
Thing about fourlegs see, they think only about the heres and nows. Not the befores, not the afters, but always the heres and nows. It’s what makes fours so intelligent.
And still thinking about Henry, he better go round and bang snouts with him and check on the chops status. Who knows, Henry might still have one or two left over. Unlikely. But worth a trot ‘round his.
See yers, Tuffy, and careful of that scratch
Taking all the usual precautions, Gitorrf! approaches the hedge slowly, calling Henry’s name to prevent any unnecessary submitting scratchshit on a poor hapless fourlegs. Himself.
He waits and hears a muffled Let me out Franks followed by the heavy pounding of a fourlegs running up the garden. The strangest site appears over the hedge looking down at him. Henry’s head at the center of a big white plastic feeding bowl.
GitOrrf! just stands there, lost for barks.
I said sub –
I know, I know mate….and I will, I mean, I submit, but…
Jutting up from the hedge, a monstrous hybrid of fourlegs and Jodrell Bank, Henry’s head is at the center, a look of confused and unabashed misery on his jowls. The two fourlegs stand either side of the hedge, staring at one another.
Franks sez I gotta wear this collar
Uh-huh, but –
Franks sez it’s to stop me chewing at the orange sniffy pain down the other end
Uh-huh, but –
Franks sez for a few sleeps only, til the orange sniffy pain stops sniffing –
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CHOPS, HENRY?
Dunno. I woke up and there was none. Reckons Shadow got ’em
So, no chops?
Since having her toenails trimmed Mayumi discovers its so much easier to creep into the kitchen, unseen and unheard, to root about for some real food. Trouble is, JumaSabah and DaisyZhang don’t have so much real food in the first place. Being vegan they nosh all this green sniffy cac. Worse is, they expect Mayumi to eat it, too. The number of times, beforenows, she’s tried telling them she’s a Japanese Spitz – emphasis being on the country of origin: Japan. A Japanese fourlegs don’t eat vegan. A Japanese fourlegs eats whale meat, dolphin meat, and all sorts of legless creatures’ meat that live under the saltydrink. In fact, the only nosh in common between her companions and Mayumi is white rice. Even then they must go screw it up, don’t they, with beans and nuts and all that other lysine-rich protein cac.
Saying that, however, her superior snout is nows sniffing something mighty tasty in the bin beneath the kitchen sink. Could it be that legless Tuna? She knows JumaSabah and DaisyZhang like Shushi [cos of the white rice and seaweed] but are daft enough to throw away all the best bits – all those legless creatures on top or in the middle. The muttwits.
Ayaa, just givvit me and I’ll nosh it!
But no, a fourlegs’ life is never that simple, is it?
So nows – while those two are sitting on the floor in the living room, passing a pink-smelling bong between them and getting all muttwity to some dog damn awful squealing sounds from the little box in the corner – Mayumi is all set to attempt a daring break-in of the bin under the sink.
Easier said than done
First off, she’s gotta get out of the living room.
“woooooph”” JumaSabah tokes on the bong….and tokes out on the bong “huuuuuuh” before passing it over to DaisyZhang and letting his head fall back, eyes on the ceiling.
“woooooph-huuuuuuh” DaisyZhang does the same, eyes swimming all over the place.
Crawling on her folded legs, Mayumi starts her furtive zig-zag towards the door. One paw forwards, second paw further forwards, pull. And repeat!
One paw forwards, second paw further forwards, pull. And repeat! Slowly, slowly, unseen, she drags herself out of view as the sniffy pink fills the room.
“nonsense,nonsense,nonsense” JumaSabah is muttering even more garbled nonsense than usual.
“nonsense,ndmorenonsense” DaisyZhang slurs a silly giggle in response
Mayumi knows it all gets easier when they start barking nonsense at one another. Probably something to do with the pink sniffy bong. Finally, she is out of sight and can quickly pad her way to the kitchen. Her nicely cut toenails making no sound at all.
Right then she looks up, considering the kitchen door. But it’s open and she can slip easily through. The hardest part is yet to come. On many occasions she’s watched DaisyZhang press open the door beneath the sink. There’s no handle. She just presses at it with her paw, sort of.
Here goes she stands on her back toes and throws her front toes at the door. Nothing happens. I need a run at it and she runs at it, jumping up and pressing with her front toes in just the right spot. The door springs open, releasing all the wonderful colours of the kitchen bin.
The strange sounds from next door. The pink sniffy bong mixing with the orange sniffs of the tuna fish somewhere under the sink.
Just want those delicious legless bits from the top of the bin, that’s all she jumps up again and uses her front toes to pull at the bin.
Bin topples out, trash spilling across the kitchen floor, Mayumi’s toes deep in it.
Tuna! and she’s on it in a flash, chowing down as fast as her little snout can ferret it out.
“whaddafakisthatthen?” JumaSabah is hanging onto the kitchen doorframe, his eyeballs swimming all over.
No time to waste, Mayumi is noshing up the tuna and anything else within biting range as quick as possible before she gets swept off her feet and carried at arm’s length towards the backdoor.
“rightthen,that’sit” and JumaSabah kicks open the door and hurls Mayumi out into the night. “andyoucanstayoutthereallnightyerlittlefu –,”
The back door slams shut. Mayumi sits in the dark, half buried in the whitedrink, swallowing the last bits of tuna.
Mayumi, quickly realizing that as a Japanese Spitz with its thick, brown fluffy coat, she’s quite in her element.
I will, too! she calls back at the door.
However, she’s a little irked that the houseden the garden is so small. Next thing is to find a way out of the garden and escape these two muttwits forever!
Whitedrink floats down from the sky, evaporating on her black button of a snout.